Glenthorne to Porthcawl 22-6-22
Swim time: 12hours 21minutes
Start: Glenthorne Bay Devon
Finish: Trecco Bay Porthcawl
Observer: Kevin Murphy
Swim Crew: Jane Murphy
Pilot: Ceri Davies
Ratified by the BCSA.
The journey out to England was a spectacular 45min ride from The Mumbles, passing by Swansea, Port Talbot, Porthcawl and out towards the remote and stunning north Devonshire coastline. The country manor known as Glenthorne is idyllic and a beautiful spot to start an epic swim. The slippery smooth moon shape rocks on the beach made it impossible for a glamourous exit and entry back into the water, but no one other than the few momentary jellyfish got to see the silly walk.
The clear water was 15-17°C, but felt a lot warmer with the full sun beaming down and not a cloud in the sky. With plenty of thoughts to entertain me and the striking coastline behind me, the first 4-5hrs slipped by. Then comes ‘the switch’ when the body transitions from its glycogen stores to fat stores, yet despite knowing this, it’s a mentally tough phase at the half way point of the swim.
From 6-7hrs onwards the industrial landscape of Breasea Point gives an excellent visual marker and perspective on both the tide turn and the speed of the tide. From here, I was jettisoned around the magnificent coastline of underneath Nash Point Lighthouse, which is very reminiscent of the approach to Cap Gris Nez on the north coast of France. The cliff line from Monknash Beach to Dunraven Bay was a beautiful surprise and reminded me of my favourite training swim back home, underneath the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
With the village of Ogmore now in sight and crowds of beach-goers enjoying the British sunshine, the end was tantalizing close. But beware of the fast turning tide that is ready to put an end to the swim, this is where the true fight begins, and for the next hour swimming from Ogmore Beach, past Newton Beach and onto Porthcawl was a battle all in itself. To finish it off Mother Nature gave me a harsh shove onto the rocks of Trecco Bay and with a seriously stubby toe I ran onto the sandy beach to finish. As the sun set and whilst I wiped away the infamous ‘Bristol Beard’, I was greeted by fellow swimmers to celebrate. A happy end to an exhilarating swim.
What inspired the swim?
Without doubt the resurrection of ‘The Original (British) Triple Crown’ and the challenge of the world’s second largest tidal range!
How I planned for the swim?
During the winter months (OCT-MAR); 3hrs a week pool training and 3 x 20min sea swims.
During the spring months (APR-JUN); 3hrs a week pool training and increasing sea swims varying from 1-6hrs, total 10-15hrs a week training.